Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Suds, Soliloquies, Stones, and Summer

All right, so I watched a documentary about obscure and bizarre artwork a little while ago. For a change of pace, tonight's documentary was about an obscure and bizarre book called The Stones of Summer, published in 1972 by someone named Dow Mossman, who subsequently dropped off the face of the earth. The filmmaker remembered reading the book, found it mesmerizing, and wondered why the author never published anything else. The documentary, entitled "Stone Reader," is mainly about his quest to find Mossman, and the way he goes about it and the people he meets along the way are quite fascinating. In fact, when he finally tracks down Mossman, it is rather anticlimactic.

Of course, I don't know if the book itself is any good. After the film was released, Barnes & Noble agreed to bring it back into print, and I can remember seeing a huge stack of copies in my local B&N a few years ago and wondering what the hell it was. As it didn't sound so good to me then, I suspect I would not really care for it. The reviews on Amazon seem to be split between love it/hate it.

Anyway, the documentary was a little slow, but interesting. I'd recommend it for anyone curious about how novels get written and published -- and how sometimes in the process writers can be destroyed.